A peaceful demonstration against the acquittal of a Saskatchewan man in the shooting death of a young First Nations man could have turned into a violent confrontation on Monday had it not been for the leadership of local organizers.
That was the message from the former chief of the Chippewas of the Thames First Nation Leslee White-Eye at the London Police Services Board meeting on Thursday.
White-eye was at Monday’s march and rally to the London courthouse on Queen’s Avenue from Victoria Park to protest the verdict in the Colten Boushie case.
She told the board that police and security staff seemed to form a wall between protesters and the building.
“There was an immediate feeling of tension, we felt for a moment that this could escalate out of control, because of how we were approached,” White-Eye said.
White-eye suggested the board reach out to the organizers of the rally to better understand how they felt about the security presence, and how to better handle it in the future.
She noted the board has an opportunity to build better relationships with the Indigenous community and its young leaders.
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